The explosive growth of cryptocurrency over the last few years is phenomenal. The Coinbase exchange has expanded alongside cryptocurrency but is still struggling with growing pains.


It’s been a thrilling ride on the Cryptocurrency Express over the last few years. Bitcoin started off 2017 at around $1,000 but burst upwards to over $19,000 by the end of the year. Bitcoin’s success had a positive effect on altcoins as they too gained in value. This led to a massive influx of people looking to trade, which has led to some issues with San Francisco-based Coinbase.

Explosive Expansion

As the cryptocurrency space expanded, more and more people were looking to trade, and Coinbase became a popular option. The cryptocurrency exchange had 4.7 million users in 2016. That number surged to a whopping 11.7 million users by October 2017. This represents an increase of almost 150 percent.

With this growth came a host of issues. The most notable being a lack of customer support. The exchange found itself lacking the necessary resources to handle the increased volume, so it eventually decided to greatly expand its support team.

San Francisco-based Coinbase has had its share of growing pains.

Success Can Bring Headaches

There’s always a price for success, and Coinbase soon found out that its long response times to customer queries was one. Business Insider reports that over 134 pages of customer complaints were filed with the California Department of Business Oversight and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Apparently, it took Mashable five months to get their hands on the complaints after filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information) request. The complaints outline a number of issues that users had with the California exchange.

Some users said that they had issues accessing their funds. Another problem was that there were times when funds were sent from one Coinbase account to another, the funds never arrived. Probably the biggest problem for many account holders was being locked out of their accounts, which meant that they could not make any trades. This had to sting quite a bit as savvy investors could have made a lot of money buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the prices fluctuated a great deal.

The takeaway of these complaints is that Coinbase was really unprepared for the massive growth the exchange underwent. One could easily argue that they took way too long to begin beefing up their customer service.

While 134 pages of complaints if pretty damning, the exchange has worked pretty hard to cut down on their backlog. The exchange has said that they have cut down the backlog by a full 95 percent. This is heartening news, although it will do little to assuage those who could have made a lot of money during the wild latter half of 2017.

Were you impacted by a lack of customer support at Coinbase? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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